Canucks behind bear-killer Booth

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The Vancouver Canucks are standing behind David Booth after video of the left winger baiting and killing a black bear on an Alberta hunting trip went viral.

In the video posted to YouTube — which Booth has since taken down — the 24-year-old sports star is seen in a tree stand, while a large black bear bats at a barrel filled with bait some 50 to 75 metres away.

Hunting with a bow, the 6-foot, 212 lb. sniper draws an arrow and fires a fatal shot, hitting the bear just behind it’s front leg.

Canucks Sports and Entertainment issued a statement Wednesday in support of Booth.

“As an organization, we support the right of our employees to make individual choices,” it reads.

“While we appreciate the support of this endeavour is not universal, big game hunting is a legal and sanctioned activity in Alberta when an individual has applied and been approved for the proper permits, as in the case of David.

“The individual opinions of our employees do not necessarily reflect those of Canucks Sports and Entertainment but we respect all people’s personal views and law-abiding choices.”

No spokesperson was made available.

The hunt happened at the beginning of May near Hinton, Alta., with guides from Twin River Outfitting, a week after the Canucks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

A film crew was with Booth, shooting for the reality TV show The Edge.

Booth posted a photo of the dead bruin to his Twitter account, with the caption, “Just killed a Chara sized bruin! 7ft black bear – 21in skull.”

In 56 games with the Canucks last season, 27-year-old Booth notched 16 goals and 13 assists for 29 points while amassing 32 penalty minutes.